Marcus Rashford continued his goal-scoring streak to help Manchester United ease past Nottingham Forest in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semifinal at City Ground.
Wout Weghorst and Bruno Fernandes joined the forward on the scoresheet as Erik ten Hag’s men practically sealed their place in the final.
The Dutch manager fielded a strong starting XI with Casemiro making his return to the team after serving his suspension during Sunday’s Premier League defeat to Arsenal.
Rashford took just six minutes to put United in front. The 25-year-old received a pass on the sidelines in his own half before expeditiously making his way past Forest’s defence and firing a low shot past Wayne Hennessey.
The goal was Rashford’s 10th in 10 games since the World Cup, the most by any player in Europe’s top five leagues.
But the home side responded in kind, with Brennan Johnson forcing David De Gea into a good save. The hosts thought they had pulled level in the 23rd minute when a counterattack culminated in Sam Surridge finding the net but a VAR check ruled he had been offside.
Just before halftime, Weghorst notched his first United goal to ease his side’s nerves. Antony forced Wayne Hennessey to block his well-struck volley which fell to the striker for an easy tap-in.
The pattern continued in the second half with both teams wasting chances to score goals.
Fernandes put the game and perhaps the tie to bed in the 89th minute, driving a low shot past the goalkeeper to seal the win.
Manchester United will now square off against Nottingham Forest in the reverse fixture on 2nd February with the winner taking on either Newcastle United or Southampton in the Carabao Cup final.